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A little less than two weeks ago, the Obama administration  announced a program asking American’s to spy on their neighbors. The call for an army of spies was announced in a White House’s internet site blog:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to [email protected]

Maybe the White House is understanding that we are getting just a little bit nervous` about, their “1984-type tactics.” This morning the White House announced it is tightening up its Email rules as a result of the Axelrod-spam incident:


The White House said Monday it will tighten its email sign-up rules after drawing fire from some recipients of a message about health care policies who complained they had not asked for such updates.

But the administration denied signing people up without their permission and seemed to blame third-party activist groups for the problem.

“We are implementing measures to make subscribing to emails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individual’s behalf,” said spokesman Nick Shapiro.

Beyond that the Email adress the White House set up for people to snitch on their neighbors, has been closed. This morning I sent a test email to [email protected] and received this response:

BODY,.aolmailheader {font-size:10pt; color:black; font-family:Arial;}
a.aolmailheader:link {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;}
a.aolmailheader:visited {color:magenta; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;}
a.aolmailheader:active {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;}
a.aolmailheader:hover {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;}

(reason: 550 5.2.1 … The email address you just sent a message to is no longer in serv…now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via:http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck)

—– Transcript of session follows —–
… while talking to mailhub-wh2.whitehouse.gov.:
>>> DATA
<<< 550 5.2.1 … The email address you just sent a message to is no longer in service.We are now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via:http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck
550 5.1.1 … User unknown
<<< 503 5.0.0 Need RCPT (recipient)

Final-Recipient: RFC822; [email protected]
Action: failed
Status: 5.2.1
Remote-MTA: DNS; mailhub-wh2.whitehouse.gov
Diagnostic-Code: SMTP; 550 5.2.1 … The email address you just sent a message to is no longer in service.We are now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via:http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck
Last-Attempt-Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 13:27:48 -0400 (EDT)

If you go to the “Flag Website” you can see that it too was cleaned up a bit. You now see this message:

If you have questions about health insurance reform or suggestions on what topics we should address next, please let us know.

Please refrain from submitting any individual’s personal information, including their email address, without their permission.

Is the White House backing down from its “intimidate the public tactics,” or are they going back into hiding for a bit because they got caught? I bet on the latter, but we will soon see if they find a way to do it again, and what they do with the emails they have already received. 

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